Tuesday 18 August 2015

Bible Book:

“Blessed … are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” (v. 28)

Luke 11:14-28 Tuesday 18 August 2015

Psalm: Psalm 69:30-36


For most urban Westerners, the language of spiritual warfare isalien and unsettling, but for Jesus' audience - andfor largenumbers of people in today's world - it is a natural way ofdescribing how things are. Behind the strange and unsettlinglanguage about Beelzebul and demons lies the stark contrast betweentwo kingdoms, each with its own aims and its own methods. On oneside is the kingdom of spiritual and social chaos, with forces thatseek destruction and mischief. The name 'Beelzebul' probably comesfrom the Canaanite God 'Baal', but here it represents Satan, God'sspiritual opponent. On the other side is the kingdom of God - akingdom of wholeness, order and flourishing. As Jesus points out tohis critics, you cannot be on two sides at once; you have to choosewhere your allegiance lies. Jesus serves and represents the kingdomof God so his action is God's action. The reference to the "fingerof God" (v. 20) is based on Exodus 8:19 and the conflict betweenMoses and Aaron and the magicians of Egypt.

The final verses in today's passage might seem a puzzlingaddition. A well-meaning heckler cries out a blessing on the motherof Jesus. Jesus' reply, "Blessed rather are those who hear the wordof God and obey it", may seem like a put-down. But if we thinkabout it, Jesus is describing precisely what Mary, his mother, did.Mary, according to Luke 1:26-38, hears the word of God from herangelic messenger and responds by saying, "Here am I, the servantof the Lord" (Luke 1:38). That is why, in the verses thatfollow the annunciation, Elizabeth greets her with "Blessed are youamong women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Luke1:42). So Mary, in effect, is a prime example of what it meansto be on the side of the kingdom of God rather than the kingdom ofSatan.

To Ponder

  • Where do you see the contrast between the two kingdoms? Whatkind of choices does this present you with in your situation?
  • Are there ways of taking Mary, the mother of Jesus, moreseriously? How can she act as an example of a 'kingdomperson'? 
Previous Page Monday 17 August 2015
Next Page Wednesday 19 August 2015